2ObjectivesIdentify the four different ways by which the Constitution may be formally changed.Explain how the formal amendment process illustrates the principles of federalism and popular sovereignty.Understand that several amendments have been proposed, but not ratified.Outline the 27 amendments that have been added to the Constitution.
3Key Terms amendment: a change to the written words of the Constitution ratification: the act of approving a proposed amendmentformal amendment: one of four ways to change or add to the written language of the ConstitutionBill of Rights: the name given to the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which guarantee many basic freedoms; all ten amendments were ratified in 1791
4IntroductionHow has the Constitution been amended through the formal amendment process?The majority of amendments have been proposed by a two-thirds vote of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.An amendment can also be ratified by state conventions held in three fourths of the states. This has only happened once.
5Changing with the Times The amendment process allows the Constitution to adapt to the changing needs of our nation and society.The United States has gone from a farming nation of less than 4 million people to a high-tech country with a population of more than 300 million.Portions of the Constitution have been added, deleted, or altered as a result of amendments.
6The Amendment ProcessArticle V of the Constitution describes the amendment process.Amendments may be proposed:By a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress. [Done for 26 of 27 amendments.]By a national convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. [Done for the 21st amendment.]NOTE FOR TEACHERS: Today, 2/3 of the states means that 34 must propose an amendment and ¾ of the states means that 38 states must ratify an amendment. In the past 40 years, Congress has come close to calling a national convention twice at the request of the states; once to change a Supreme Court decision about voting rights, and the other time to require a balanced federal budget except in times of war or national emergency.
7The Amendment Process, cont. Amendments can be ratified:By three-fourths of the state legislatures.By conventions in three-fourths of the states. [A method not yet used.]
8FederalismCheckpoint: How does the federal amendment process reflect the concept of federalism?Amendments are proposed at the national level and ratified at the state level by legislatures or conventions.A state can reject an amendment and later decide to ratify it.But a state cannot change its mind after it votes to ratify an amendment.The President cannot veto proposed amendments.Checkpoint Answer: Amendments are proposed at the federal level and ratified at the state level, thus dividing the power to change the Constitution between the central government and the states.
9Popular SovereigntyThe amendment process is based on popular sovereignty.The people elect the representatives who vote to propose or ratify amendments.Some critics argue that conventions are a better way to ratify amendments than state legislatures, because state legislators are rarely elected based upon their views on an amendment.The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot require a proposed amendment to be approved by popular vote before the state legislature can ratify it.
10The Bill of RightsCheckpoint: What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?They spell out many basic rights and liberties.Many people would not support the Constitution until a Bill of Rights was promised.Checkpoint Answer: The Constitution might never have been ratified without the promise that a bill of rights would be added to the document. Students should also note that the Bill of Rights spells out many of the fundamental liberties that Americans take for granted each day. If it were left solely to the state constitutions to protect these rights, they might not be shared by all American citizens.
11Proposed AmendmentsMost suggested amendments are never proposed by Congress.Congress has sent only 33 of some 15,000 suggested amendments to the states.Six proposed amendments were not ratified by the states.Congress can set a “reasonable” time limit for ratification, usually around seven years.Failed amendments include one declaring the equal rights of women (ERA) and one banning amendments dealing with slavery.
12The 27 AmendmentsMany of the 27 current amendments were proposed in response to legal disputes, social conflicts, or perceived constitutional problems.The 12th Amendment resolved a problem with the presidential election process.The 13th Amendment abolished slavery.
13The 27 Amendments, cont.The 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments each extended voting rights to a new segment of society:African AmericansWomen18-year oldsNOTE TO TEACHERS: The above image depicts Inez Milholland, who fought to amend the Constitution to allow women’s suffrage.Inez Milholland
14The 27 Amendments, cont. 1791 - Amendments 1-10 1795 - Amendment 11 Bill of RightsAmendment 11States immune from certain lawsuitsAmendment 12Changes in electoral college proceduresAmendment 13Abolition of SlaveryAmendment 14Citizenship, equal protection, and due processAmendment 15No denial of vote because of race, color or previous enslavementNOTE TO TEACHERS: Above image shows a coin that was a symbol of the anti-slavery movement.
15The 27 Amendments, cont. 1913 - Amendment 16 1913 - Amendment 17 Congress given the power to tax incomesAmendment 17Popular election of U.S.SenatorsAmendment 18Prohibition of alcoholAmendment 19Women’s suffrageAmendment 20Change of dates for presidential and congressional termsAmendment 21Repeal of prohibition (Amendment 18)NOTE TO TEACHERS: Above image shows the first women to vote in Brooklyn, New York.
16The 27 Amendments, cont. 1951 - Amendment 22 1961 - Amendment 23 Limit on presidential termsAmendment 23District of Columbia allowed to vote in presidential electionsAmendment 24Ban of tax payment as voter qualificationAmendment 25Presidential succession, vice presidential vacancy, and presidential disabilityAmendment 26Voting age changed to 18Amendment 27Congressional pay
17ReviewNow that you have learned how the Constitution has been amended through the formal amendment process, go back and answer the Chapter Essential Question.How has the Constitution lasted through changing times?